Comedy Of Manners

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One of the most important literary genres of the 18th-Century in England was the Comedy of Manners which is the synonym of the Restoration Comedy. The origins of this genre lie in the classical tradition, it first appeared in the ancient Greece, and then Roman satirists and poets imitated these models, that centuries later were copied by many poets during the Renaissance. The Comedy of Manners of the Restoration can be divided into two main generations: The first one is the earlier 18th-Century, in which William Congreve and his work “The Way of the World” is included among another authors such as Vanbrugh and Farquar and the second one is the later 18th-Century, the later development of this genre, with Richard B. Sheridan and his work “The…show more content…
In this essay I will focus on three major characteristics that can be summarized as the setting, the rural and urban, and the upper classes. These appear in both plays and they also affect the style of each literary work: The first one is the action which, in both stories, takes place in London. In Congreve’s “The Way of the World”, its setting takes place in Greater London, the scenes occur in a chocolate house, in St. James 's Park, and in the home of one of the main characters, Lady Wishfort. St. James 's Park, is in the Westminster borough of London; in Sheridan’s “The School for Scandal” the setting is also London, starting in Lady Sneerwell’s house and then moving to another indoor settings such as the house of Sir Peter Teazle or Joseph Surface’s house. The second one is the contrast between the rural and the urban world in both works, firstly in “The Way of the World”, the character named Witwoud is from the country of Shropshire and his arrival in London results in a lot of amusement and humor as Petulant and the others mock at him “Egad I understand nothing of the matter; I’m in a maze yet, like a dog in a dancing school” (Act V, Scene I).; in “The School of Scandal” this contrast between the rural and the urban is personified with the character of Lady Teazle, whom was an ordinary country girl before she became Sir Peter 's wife and now she tries hard to become a member of the fashionable society she is confronted with through her marriage, as Sir Peter
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